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Synonymous Species 

ArchTriumph Pavilion Competition, Museum Garden, London, UK with Mapdio (En-ming Chang & Yen-ming Lee) 


Synonymous Species introduces a new species of space to the Museum Garden.  Vault and stained glass merge into a singular system, one in which the structural tracery of the Gothic system becomes volumetric and exists as webbing within the vault. Furthermore, the vault is brought to the ground and supported by buttressing that becomes a part of the vaulted space.  Hence, the Gothic system is re-imagined into a spatially cohesive pavilion that unites vault, buttress, and stained glass within the context of the Museum Garden.  The dreams of the past are reorganized and contextualized into the dreams of the present and future.


Dreaming is an inherent human condition; it is a subconscious act of remixing events, thoughts, and ideas. Making this process physical correlates with art and architecture.  In designing a pavilion that invites participants to dream about unique spaces, examples of previously realized space via the architectural history of London and its surrounding communities establish the framework for this project.  Canterbury Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and Kings College Chapel exemplify the Gothic System that relishes a symbolic relationship with ecclesiastical, civic, institutional, and other public programs.  In these spaces, vaults, buttressing, and stained glass comprise a system of architectural elements reminiscent of past dreams realized.  While the relationship of these elements creates a space fit for large gatherings, the purposes of a pavilion scaled for small gatherings in a garden warrant a type of space that is less monumental.  Essentially, a garden is an escape from the built density of the city, a place in which colors of nature are experienced.  The horticultural diversity within the Museum Garden, for example, sets an existing stage full of color.  Castor oil plants, salvias, as well as the tulips and polyanthus that bloom in the spring, provide a natural context for bringing this color to the people of London.  


The builders of the original Gothic System dreamed of an immensely tall space, flooded with colored light.  The vault, buttress, and stained glass allowed for this dream to be made physical. Within the system, these elements were located in areas remote from one another.  The vault capped the height of the interior space and was supported by the fine buttress that lined the exterior walls.  Between these buttresses, stained glass supported by stone tracery created openings that filtered colored light into the space.  In this Gothic System, vaults never touched the ground, buttresses never touched the interior spaces, and stained glass never left the exterior walls.   SYNONYMOUS SPECIES shifts the scale of the vault, buttress, and stained glass into a congealed system that lies within the context of the Museum Garden.  The remixing of these elements emphasizes dreams made physical through a rescaled Gothic System filled with color and set within a garden context.








BUTTRESS WALL: Plywood + Inset Acrylic

VAULT RIBS: Bent Plywood


STAINED GLASS: Recycled Acrylic

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